Dave Johns and Hayley Squires are superb as a joiner and single mum stuck in a bureaucratic nightmare
Dave Johns and Hayley Squires are superb as a joiner and single mum stuck in a bureaucratic nightmare.
Blazing with righteous ire and brimming with compassion, director Ken Loach’s damning portrait of austerity Britain is also a tender tribute to human resilience and fellowship.
Standup comedian Johns is full of sparky humanity as widowed Newcastle joiner Daniel, who discovers after a major heart attack he lacks the disability ‘points’ that will entitle him to benefits. Trapped in the system, he befriends Hayley Squires’ fellow victim, a single mother who has been uprooted from London with her two children and transplanted to Newcastle.
Loach infuses his film with passionate indignation, but does so in a surprisingly measured way: even a moment of searing humiliation for Squires in a food bank is filmed with quiet restraint.
We, the viewer, supply the anger.